Content needs to be organised. Vessels and shapes do, too. A little bit of healthy OCD on your part can go a long way. Taxonomy is the bread and butter of content classification and distribution.

If you have been around content or created even a blog post or posted a picture on Instagram, you would know that search and visibility of your creation depend on the way you tagged it. A blog post without keywords as tags cannot be found easily a couple of months after being published, especially on a busy blog. It also impacts your SEO score and some other things. The same goes for your Instagram photo – if you have not used keywords (hashtags), your photo will be visible only to the people who follow you…and like you posts the most.

How taxonomy works:

A great taxonomy possesses shared the reference. Both the creator the developer and the user should be on the same page for meaning to be transferred. Otherwise, chances are that content will not reach its destination and hang somewhere in the middle stranded alone.

A perfect example of shared reference being lost is the recent presidential campaign in the USA. The winning candidate builds his campaign on promising to repeal Obamacare and many Americans voted for that. In the same time, these voters were not willing to part with the benefits received from the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Few were realising that Obamacare is the colloquial term used to refer to the Affordable Care Act.

Taxonomy can also be used as a trigger very much in the way “if this then that”. A perfect example of that is the hashtags. You click or tap on it and a collection of all relevant content pops up on Twitter or Instagram.

A good taxonomy application also grants a sort of fluidity to the content and its ability to shift between vessels, set parameters and databases. It helps especially well with content repurposing.

Taxonomy can break or make your content. Thread with care and try to think few steps ahead.

This post is part of a talk I gave at Bulgarian Web Summit on “Travelling With The User”. You can find the slides here

Image source: Wikimedia.org

Copyright © 2017 Borislav Kiprin. All Rights Reserved.